At the heart of Poland’s largest area of contiguous forest lies the small village of Głęboki Bród. It is the center of an exemplary Capercaillie conservation project, which gives hope to a species that is in decline. We invite you to take a journey to northeastern Poland, where conditions are not only perfect for the Capercaillie but also for hunters.
Over the last few years, Poland has become one of Europe’s most popular hunting destinations, and for good reason – it is home to vast wooded areas with dense populations of the most sought-after game. Then there’s the legendary Polish hospitality and the region’s easy access.
The northeast of the country is particularly unspoiled, especially the area around the health resort of Augustów. This small town with around 30,000 inhabitants is situated in the triangle where Poland, Belarus, and Lithuania meet in Podlasie province. It’s worth stopping off in Augustów en route to Głęboki Bród, not just because it’s a picturesque little town but also to see a technical marvel, the Augustów Canal. Built in the 19th century to connect the Vistula River with the Memel region, it is now a popular destination for kayakers and water sports enthusiasts and is a candidate for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The area around Augustów is often referred to as the green lung of Poland, and hunting has a long tradition here. From the mid-16th century, Puszcza Augustowska – Augustów Primeval Forest – was the royal hunting ground where Polish rulers hunted aurochs and bison, wild boar, bears, and wolves. The forest covers 1,600 square kilometers (618 square miles), 1,140 square kilometers (440 square miles) of which is in Poland.
About 20 minutes from Augustów, in the northern part of Puszcza Augustowska, lies Głęboki Bród in the administrative district of Giby. The coat of arms of this rural community highlights the important role played by nature, depicting a speared fish against a background of forest green. This huge area is managed by the Regional Directorate of State Forests (RDF) in Białystok. Along with the Głęboki Bród forest, it manages 18 other nearby areas that are open to hunters.
Poland’s forested area covers 9.2 million hectares (22.7 million acres), which is about 29.6% of the country’s total land area. More than four fifths of Poland’s forests are state-owned, and most are managed by Lasy Państwowe, a governmental organization. With about 7.1 million hectares (17.5 million acres), it is one of the largest forest holdings in the whole of the EU.
In Poland, hunting is always one-to-one, meaning that every guest is assigned a personal hunting guide, who also looks after approaching and selecting the animal. Ultimately, however, it is the hunter who makes the decision and bears the responsibility. Hunting liability insurance is mandatory, a hunting license is required, and it is no problem to transport firearms (with an EU firearms pass) and ship trophies.
POLISH STATE FORESTS
HUNTING IN STATE FORESTS
BIAŁYSTOK REGIONAL DIRECTORATE
WIGRY NATIONAL PARK
The hunting grounds in the northeast are very extensive and less developed than those in western Poland, for example. This is part of its appeal for many hunters – but it also involves more effort. It takes about 3.5 hours to drive there from Warsaw. If you are coming by air, it is worth flying into Vilnius in Lithuania, which is about 200 kilometers (125 miles) away.
If you would like to hunt in the Puszcza Augustowska area, you can book a trip with one of the many international hunting outfitters or directly contact the Regional Directorate at Białystok. Comfortable accommodation is available, along with experienced, professional hunting guides who will ensure a successful hunt.
If you are traveling to northeastern Poland, don’t miss the impressive deer rut in the primeval forests, which is why the main hunting season starts in September. Apart from the rutting red deer, there are also wild boar and roe deer. Wolf and lynx roam these forests too, but they are protected species. Apart from red deer and roe deer, hunters will often spot moose, but they also have to be left alone. Other permanent residents of the forests include foxes, raccoons, raccoon dogs, and badgers. If you’re very lucky, you might bag a Hazel Grouse. Close to Głęboki Bród, the forest areas of Borki and Browsk have a special attraction – herds of wild bison, also a protected species.